Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that is often fatal. It is caused by a coronavirus that targets cells in the infected cat’s intestinal wall. This is not the same as the coronavirus that affects humans.
There are actually two different ways that FIP can manifest in cats, known as the wet and dry versions of the virus. It can be difficult to spot because the symptoms of the disease are ambiguous. Fortunately, it’s very unusual.
If you see signs that your cat has FIP, do so Contact your veterinarian immediately and follow their advice. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for FIP in cats.
Symptoms of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats
Symptoms of feline infectious peritonitis in cats are often described as vague as they are not unique to the disease.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that cats with FIP can experience:
- Loss of appetite
- Seems more lethargic
- Weight loss
- A fever that does not respond to antibiotics
In fact, if a cat develops FIP, it can be one of two forms of the disease:
- Wet FIP: This can make it difficult to breathe as fluid builds up in places such as the cat’s chest or abdomen.
- Dry FIP: This can lead to lesions in the cat’s liver, kidneys, eyes, and even the cat’s nervous system.
Causes of infectious peritonitis in cats (FIP) in cats
Feline infectious peritonitis in cats is caused by the feline coronavirus. It is estimated that many cats actually carry this virus, and it is more common in animal shelters, colonies, or private homes with more than one resident cat.
When the virus mutates, it can cause FIP. although this is not very common in terms of probability.
The main transmission of FIP is via cat feces. If a cat grooms or eats itself after coming into contact with infected feces, it is possible that it will ingest the virus.
Treatments for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats
If a veterinarian suspects a cat has infectious peritonitis in cats, there are a number of tests available to find out whether or not the cat actually has FIP. However, there is not a single accepted test that can detect FIP in cats.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for FIP and it is fatal over 95 percent of the time. With the dry form of the disease, veterinarians may have the ability to extend cats’ lives. In the wet form, cats usually die within two months of symptoms first appearing.
However, your vet may recommend some lifestyle tips to make sure your cat is comfortable dealing with the disease and experiencing as little pain as possible.
Are you taking care to prevent infectious diseases in your cat? How do you keep your furry family members healthy? Let us know your experience in the comments below.